Friday, February 1, 2013

Congrats Kerry/Jackson!

Congratulations to John Kerry our new Secretary of State, who was this week easily confirmed across party lines and widely applauded after 28 years of serving Massachusetts superbly in the US senate! Here's a very interesting article, his last local interview as senator, as he gets to reminisce and chat in ways that he rarely has time for. He talks about how he's matured over the years, having no regrets for his initial rash entry into politics to oppose the Vietnam war in which he served. Kerry hints at how much he's accomplished since then that no one even knows, including being so proud of his "finest legislation" which is on climate change and remains to be passed, if ever.

Kerry also laments modern politics, which he interestingly says suffers from the hyperconnectedness of social media. Politicians are actually too focused now on continual constituency feedback and arms-length electronic communication, so that face to face negotiating skills are weak and everyone hardens into their positions. I can imagine his point - backroom dealmaking didn't have to be a bad thing, it got things done and could just as well be for social good, such as the 13 Amendment which took a lot of inside politics to achieve as seen in the new movie "Lincoln". It used to be that politicians got elected and then could focus on their agendas, which depended on the character of the person of course. More political accountability was needed for sure, but now it's so rampant and shallow that nobody wants to do or say anything that might get tweeted and blogged instantly, go viral on youtube and facebook, and tank their career. Human beings have to take risks to evolve their thinking when they must live together. Could distance hypermedia actually have a negative effect on responsibility by never letting up the pressure to please the home party, while never really bringing opposing views into close proximity? It's too easy to praise or insult by email, much harder when actually in the same room with someone. How much do you use the internet to find enough people to agree with you that you feel safe to dismiss and ignore those who don't?

btw it appears that John Kerry is the reincarnation of Andrew Jackson, 7th President to the United States and the guy on the 20 dollar bill. Just look at that face, you'd recognize the long features and chin and big brow anywhere! And there are very similar life narratives of being a war hero who is both profoundly patriotic and willing to question authority in ways that the pedants successfully punish, but in the end he is widely understood to be a great leader of integrity and intelligence. Rachel Jackson is also Teresa Heinz, so there's a returning love story of mutual admiration and support here. I just love it when souls make themselves knowable, don't you?!

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